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In-depth reviews

Porsche 911 GT3 review – ride and handling

Almost peerless, few cars are more poised and controlled on road or track

Evo rating
Price
from £146,400
  • Astounding powertrains; huge grip, poise and precision; ultimate engagement
  • Can be hard work on the road

You can, if you want, sit really low in the 992 and it sets the tone nicely. The gear selector is momentarily baffling because it looks remarkably like it should move around a manual gate rather than activate a PDK ’box. Also new to this 992 is a Track Screen option, which distils the digital dash in front of you down to just the essential information. Overall it’s a really good, ergonomically pleasing place to be, although I’d quite like an option to delete the main central screen if you spec the Club Sport pack.

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Familiar though it may be, the noise when you start up the new GT3 is just wonderful. The fact that Porsche has stuck to its guns, not gone chasing horsepower and managed to maintain a naturally aspirated engine in the face of increasingly awkward legislation is to be applauded. Even before you begin driving quickly, there is plenty to enjoy just listening to the way the engine makes its way up through the revs and responds to different throttle openings.

> Litchfield Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (992) 2023 review

We’re on track first and once the Cup 2 tyres are warm the grip is astonishing. The steering initially feels quite light around the dead ahead, but the response of the front end is incredible. And once loaded, there is all the information you could wish for from the Alcantara-clad wheel. Load up the nose and at the point where you feel like a 911 should start pushing wide, the 992 just seems to lean into its tyres a bit more and keep on digging for grip.

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The rear is the same – it is utterly tenacious and it takes a concerted effort to unstick the 315-section Cup 2s. Even when you do breach the limit of grip, it’s only with a firm foot on the throttle that you’ll keep it oversteering - waver for a moment and it will straighten up smartly. Such is the response and tenacity that you find yourself driving incredibly quickly and smoothly with huge confidence. The stability is just so reassuring that you can really commit to corners and you know that the shifts from the PDK ’box are so smooth that they will never unsettle the car. Braking is phenomenal, too, allowing you to push right up to and into the ABS with a real feel for the limit.

So, on track it is brilliant, and the star rating really reflects that because our time out on the twisting and testing tarmac of Bedfordshire was very brief. However, even after a short stint on a couple of A- and B-roads, it’s clear that this is a stiffer, busier GT3. It feels more RS in its reactions to the road surface, both in its ride quality and its tendency to find distractions in cambers and bumps. It’s not harsh, just more focussed and fidgety.

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Raise your speeds and things come together more; it almost feels like the car needs load to settle the corners of the car and give you the confidence to push right to its upper limits. The journey to get there takes some real dedication, though, especially on the Cup 2s. At this pace, there’s so much mechanical grip that it feels almost antisocial, the engine behind at its full volume. It almost feels like a GT3 Cup car on the road – which we guess is kind of the point. Yet with that, some of the delicious delicacy previous GT3s gave you when not driving on the absolute limit isn’t there.

It’s interesting the different feel that you get from the double wishbone front end, too; the vertical motions of the wheels are clearly transmitted as soon as you’re moving, giving quite a fluid feel through the steering, but the sense of connection between tyre and road surface only really comes alive when you push harder.

On the P Zero, things are rather different, though. There’s not only less grip – that much is obvious – but the car’s behaviour as it gets closer to the limits becomes more friendly. It will still snap, but the transition to oversteer is slightly less frenzied. There are the first whiffs of understeer to come into contact with, though, especially on cold tarmac – something that a warm Cup 2 will never get to.

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